Friday, April 25, 2014

V is for Violet, Violante, and Violetta

Since I have used the Vermilion Bird of the East under Cinnabar, I will have to choose another color for V. (We are almost done, people!)
V is for Violet. It is a lovely deep shade of purple, and also (once again, after Lilac and Heliotrope) a flower. There are, of course, violets of other shades. My grandmother's garden is often full of white-and-purple violets in the spring that all stemmed from a rare plant that "escaped" from the local botanical garden and took over the roadsides.
Violet is also a girl's name (in Hungarain it is Ibolya). It is close to my hears because it is the name of one of my favorite historical figures: Queen Violant of Hungary, or, as she was known in her second home, Aragón, Violante de Hungría (in Hungarian we call her Jolánta). She was a Hungarian princess in the 13th century who got married off to Aragón to Jaime I, the Conqueror, one of the most famous sovereigns in Spanish history. It was an arranged marriage, but it became a famous and passionate love union, and Violante became a beloved queen, an equal partner to her husband, and a mother of many children. If you read Spanish, definitely read Albert Salvadó's historical novel trilogy of the amazing couple.

As for folktales: One that comes to mind is a tale from the Pentamerone. It features three sisters, aptly named Rose, Pink and Violet, and seems to be the origin of all "love-hate" romantic chick flicks. It starts out with a handsome young prince who walks by the house of the sisters and greets them politely, hoping he would get a similarly polite answer. Instead, what he gets from Violet is "Good day to you, prince! I know more than you do." Chick's both smart and sassy. That's enough to piss the prince off. Eventually the father, afraid for his daughter, sends her to live with her aunt. The prince makes a deal with the aunt to arrange for her to be alone with Violet, but she slips out of the situation and goes home; what ensues after is an elaborate series of practical jokes between Violet and the prince where they take turns having the last laugh. In the end, Violet triumphs, and the prince admits that he has been defeated. With that question settled, they can get married.

Purple Power, girls.

For more stories check out Andrew Lang's Violet Fairy Book (I swear, that guy had a book for all the colors...)


  1. LOL - the chick flick genre is older than I thought! ;P
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles - A to Z Ghosts
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  2. Yay Violet, you show him! :) Seems like the strong female and antagonistic suitor really is a classic classic ::g::
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  3. Love Violet :) -- I've got to go and read up all your posts in May!

    Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2014, My Latest post

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z

  4. Violet was quite something. Good for her! This kind of chick-flick I can like :)

  5. Violet sounds like a great woman. Great share!
    Shawn from Laughing at Life 2

  6. Violet was my aunt's name. I adored her! She was not only sassy but out of the three sisters who met the prince, she had the most exotic beauty. In her family, the other two sisters were Lily and Rose.

  7. Oh, I like her! The Hollywood version of Violet would most likely be Cameron Diaz, thus ruinning the charm of the tale entirely.

    Echoes of Olympus
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  8. Are chick flicks going back such a long way? That old?

    It's quite common to find that sisters within a family are named after flowers, such as Daisy, Hyacinth, Iris...
    I like the name Jasmine.